Flower Power: Blossoming Desserts

May 20, 2011

Gardenia

Imagine a hot summer's day, drops of sweat begin to bead on your brow and you reach for a cool, thirst-quenching glass of water - fragrant with the refreshing scents of jasmine, roses, gardenias - transporting you, for a moment, to an enchanted summer evening. Water never tasted so good! While DIY spirit infusions (like lavender vodka and gin) have recently become quite popular, infusing rainwater with fragrant flowers is a centuries-old tradition. A key ingredient in many Thai and other southeast Asian desserts, flower-infused water is quite quaffable and surprisingly easy to make at home. But what do you do with a quart of rosewater? Make dessert of course! Here's a DIY How-To Guide to Flower Infused Water.

While most of these recipes call for rosewater, you can easily substitute jasmine, orange blossom or gardenia-infused water as well!

White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Rosewater Syrup The decadence of the white chocolate is perfectly balanced with the delicate flavor and scent of the rosewater!
Macarons with Lemon-Rose Buttercream A refreshing combination for the perfect springtime treat.
Kanoom Luerm Gruen (Thai Coconut Dessert) Kind of like a Thai panna cotta, this traditional Thai dessert is sweet and salty, subtly flavored with jasmine-infused water and coconut milk.
Rizogalo (Rice Pudding) A traditional Greek recipe, perfect for entertaining.
Pistachio Rose Cake With chocolate ganache and amaretto, how could you go wrong with this amazing cake?
Rose-Vanilla Baked Peaches Peaches gently simmered in rosewater-vanilla simple syrup, served a la mode and topped with fresh raspberries - yum!
Chocolate Tart with Chocolate-Rose Ganache Decadence: a chocolate tart filled with chocolate-rose ganache - what better combination?
Cardamom-Rose Ice Cream If you don't already have an ice cream maker, you may want to invest in one just for this Indian-inspired ice cream - so delicious!
Ras Malai A traditional Indian dessert, Ras Malai is made from mildly-flavored cottage cheese dumplings soaked in syrup and served in a bath of cardamom-infused milk. Hard to describe, unbelievably tasty.
White Chocolate Rose Cupcakes Sweet, creamy and delicate - perfect for afternoon tea.
Orange Blossom & Rose Baklava This flaky Middle Eastern dessert is layered with honey and walnuts.

Jasmine

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